After reports of a vaccine shortage and the potential for a third surge in infections, the UK now faces another hurdle in its roadmap out of lockdown: a shortage of bouncers.
According to the UK Door Security Association (UKDSA), the body representing security staff, many door staff have moved sought work in other industries thanks to lockdown. Compounding the staffing issue is the fact that some staff, who are not UK nationals, have returned to their home countries because of Brexit.
By law, nightclubs are required to maintain a certain ratio of security staff to customers, but the UKDSA say the situation is so dire that more than half of door staff positions may not be filled come June 21.
On top of that, new training and security regulations could make it even harder for venues get their door staff properly trained in time. Specficially, all security staff must have first aid qualifications before they’re even allowed to take the existing training. They’ll also need to be trained to deal with terror threats and emergencies as well as how to use body cameras and breathalysers. Some of these regulations don’t come in until October, but the first aid training will be a requirement from April 1.
To give venues the time to get their staff up to speed, the UKDSA is calling for an extension on the deadline, explaining that they support the new measures, but adding that they’re “deeply concerned about the timing of these changes and the impact on front-line staffing levels”.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “We rely heavily on licensed door supervisors to keep staff and customers safe. With the additional responsibility of public health… it is even more important that we remove barriers to ensure that we are able to fulfil the resource requirement. This will need a government intervention to ensure that the industry has the ability to provide enough staff. While the training is welcomed, it is not timely given the current economic situation across most of the sector, and consideration needs to be given to it being pushed back to 2022.”